Five On Friday

Hey y'all, I am having some Internet issues this morning so my Five On Friday will be delayed. I hate to not join in! Please do link up with Darci, Christina or Natasha on their blogs and I will be back lickety-split. Hugs from me and Camille!


Life These Days: An Update

Life these days is quite different from the hectic workdays and short evenings I'd become accustomed to. Having Camille in our lives has definitely made us slow down a bit and appreciate, well -- the small things in life.

When we brought our daughter home Friday, May 16th, we were so happy to have her under our roof. We had two successful nights under our belt in the hospital, and while our sleep was definitely interrupted those two nights between feedings and nurses popping in to check my vital signs, we still got a fairly good amount of rest.

That Friday night was a little different. I snapped these photos below of her napping peacefully during the day in her bassinet and wearing her Halo SleepSack Swaddle. Well, these things are amazing (and so user-friendly), but we experienced a truly wild Friday night of her not sleeping and us -- out of desperation -- pulling out all of the stops that we swore we wouldn't yet, including pacifiers and co-sleeping. The next morning we begged her to forget sleeping in our bed and the pacifier incident, and we went back to the drawing board. I pulled out the hospital blankets that she'd slept so well in the two previous nights, and that is what we used to swaddle her.

Since then, she hasn't slept in anything else! We found the "magic recipe" and I'm scared to veer from it. The SleepSack Swaddles are awesome for daytime cuddles, though, I just swaddle her with her arms out and save the full swaddle experience for nighttime sleeping.

She still looks a bit yellow to me in those photos above, but that quickly went away with time and a little indirect sunlight.

That weekend we had some very close friends to come by and visit her. We also started making outdoor time a daily priority to help her get her days and nights figured out. 

Drake has been amazing. After our first night in the hospital, Ian ran home with a ziplock bag containing a blanket and two hats she'd worn and left them around the house in areas where Drake frequents so that he could get used to her smell. He is so intrigued by her, and he gets cutely agitated when she cries -- he just wants her to be happy!

After doing Friday and Saturday nights as "just us," my mom joined us Sunday evening and stayed through Thursday. Having an extra set of hands allowed Ian to return to work and was incredibly helpful to me. 

With Mom in town, we wrapped up our first week as new parents with folded laundry, an unloaded dishwasher, and considerably less baggage under our eyes.

Another plus is that my very talented Mom brought some adorable pass-down baby clothes for Camille that were worn by me and my sisters. She has an arsenal of gowns and bonnets that she made by hand.

We spend a lot of our days eating and doing diaper changes, so our little Camille is right on schedule! She was back up to her birth weight by one week and feeds about every 2 hours during the day and every 3 hours at night. Ian has been a great help to me and loves speaking to "Little Pea" in the cutest baby voice you've ever heard. I don't want to call him out on it because I'm afraid he'll stop!

I can't wait to share our birth story as well as some of our newborn favorites. But for now, this mama is going to take advantage of a post-feed baby nap and go shower!


Our Third Anniversary!

Today is a very special day ... we celebrate three years of being married!

We spent our first anniversary in New Orleans and had a heck of a time together.

And last year, we crossed a big item off our list -- we went to Europe! Paris, Bern, Florence, Rome, and Sorrento. It was more than amazing.

You can read our anniversary recap posts here.

Today has been just a smidge different -- we started off with a routine outpatient surgery appointment for the new daddy. Camille, who is two weeks old today, hung out with me and I tempered her fussiness in the women's restroom. Sigh.

After we arrived home, Ian watched the babe while I ran to the store to get ingredients for dinner tonight. Our dinner will be prepared in the Crockpot and Ian must go without alcohol for the rest of the day and night, so no champagne or limoncello toasts for us tonight.

 So, yes, things are a bit different for us this year...

... but I can say they are GOOD.

Cheers to many, many more!

(Anniversaries, not babies ... 
well, maybe one or two more)


Five On Friday ::: Man, It Feels Good To Blog!

Boy, does it feel good to be back at the keyboard again for a little blogging! Don't get me wrong ... losing myself in my little one's eyes has been a pretty sweet feeling, but writing out a blog post is another passion of mine that I will be very happy to keep up.

So let's get right to it! Time for Five On Friday with my lovely cohostesses ChristinaDarci, and Natasha. This week, after a recent conversation with my middle sister about how she can help out a grad school classmate who is expecting a baby, I thought I'd focus on five easy ways to support a mom-to-be or new mom. All of these acts -- some big, some small -- have really meant so much to me.

Send a note or card via snail mail. I can't tell you how many times I've procrastinated on reaching out to a new mama because I was waiting to find the "perfect" gift to mail ... but I've realized that even just a simple "congratulations" or "thinking of you" card or note from the mailman's hands means a lot! New mamas aren't able to drive for at least one week, so -- speaking from experience -- sometimes the trip to the mailbox is a highlight of the day. If I get a personal card outside of the normal bills and junk mail, my day is made!

I want to receive mail like this!! Or atleast have the time to send mail like this :) Beautiful snail mail by Ishtar Olivera

Invite a mom-to-be to join you for a pedicure. For me, once I hit the halfway mark in my pregnancy, bending over didn't feel too good. And a little after that, it was downright impossible unless you are an experienced yogi (I am not).

I loved the opportunity to grab a pedi with a girlfriend! Even if you are watching your spending, you can just opt for a polish change which should run you $5-10 ... much less than the cost of a pedicure, but still gets the job done.

Drop off a meal for the new parents. This week we were completely spoiled by my friend Kristen with a meal fit for a king. This is how you know she's a pro (being a recent new mama herself): she made it abundantly clear to us that she was more than happy to just drop off the meal on our doorstep if life was a little too crazy for a visit. Obviously, I wanted her to meet Camille and I wanted to catch up with her, but that was such a sweet and selfless offer.

She packaged up a wonderful meal -- breakfast muffins, fresh fruit, fruit dip, and an amazing dinner complete with sides and "adult beverages" -- in containers that she doesn't need back. So easy, so thoughtful. And the coup de grace? She brought Drake a dog toy. A dog toy! And he loves it.

Send a quick text to a new mom or a mom-to-be asking how they are feeling. That question never gets old and it's always appreciated!

A quick call is also sweet, even the calls I couldn't take where the caller clearly said on the voicemail "No need to call me back, I know you are busy - just wanted to let you know I'm thinking of you!"

If you are a mom yourself and you have baby gear you can lend out to a friend, that can be a godsend! There are an overwhelming number of baby gear items that are considered by marketers to be "essential", and guess what - they are all expensive. Sort of harkens back to the days of wedding planning where I found myself thinking "BUT I JUST HAVE TO HAVE GOLD CHIVIARI CHAIRS" when in fact, I really didn't need them at all to have my dream wedding.

You can easily drop a few hundred dollars on bouncers, swings, playards, bassinets, etc -- and your baby may not like them. We were so fortunate to be lent several items which is totally appreciated. Baby girl loves her borrowed bouncer, by the way!

So there's my five ways that you can support an expectant or new mama. I'd love to hear your tips as well!

Your turn to link up, ladies -- I'd love to read your five! Any five things on your mind will do. Just link to one or all of the hostess sites and insert the logo below. Then link up with us and you are set. :)


Just One Week Ago... {She's Here!}

My, how things change in just one week!

Seven days ago at this exact time, I was in my doctor's office with Ian getting a 41-week ultrasound. They found a slightly lower amniotic fluid level than they would love, so our plans quickly changed ... we got ready to have a baby! 

We were induced that very evening (which sounds hectic and frantic, but it was actually such a lovely and slow-paced experience) and I can't wait to share more details soon about our daughter's birth. For now, just a few quick photos to show off our lovely girl, who we have named Camille.

Our first pediatrician's visit was yesterday, and I'm very happy to say that she is doing GREAT! She was 8.2lbs at birth and is just down to 7.13 as of yesterday. The doctor was thrilled with this. She was also really impressed by Camille's alertness, her head control, and her PIPES ... girlfriend does not like being cold, and she let us know that she was happier in her gown that she arrived in!

Thank you all from the bottom of my heart for your care and support during the pregnancy. I've been spending a great amount of time staring in my baby's eyes and tending to her every need with my husband, my mother, and some very close friends. I'll update more as time allows!

Week 41 Pregnancy Journal

How Far Along? 41 Weeks ... let's go ahead and file this one under "posts I really didn't think I'd be writing"!

Size of Baby: A pumpkin (20 inches)! Our baby weighs approximately 8 lbs now according to the BabyBump app (just for a point of reference, I was 7.1 when I was born ... Ian was 7.11)

Gender: All pink!

Weight Gain: Down three pounds from last week's weigh in (apparently this is common before you give birth?) so up a total of 20lbs from my pre-pregnancy weight.

Maternity Clothes: All the time. I'll be so happy to put them away at the end of this pregnancy!

Nursery: Loving it. It's ready for a baby.

Movement: She's running out of room -- besides the occasional stretch where I feel her heels stick out in my upper right abdomen, she is not moving as freely as she once did.

Symptoms: Crying during shows or commercials with babies, especially if they are crying themselves (thanks hormones). Increased dexterity with picking up fallen items from the floor with my toes. Also, some labor symptoms -- light contractions throughout the day that I've been tracking on my iPhone when I can.

Sleep: Sleeping pretty well on my left side, but I can't WAIT to have the freedom again to sleep however I want. Also, waking up every morning feeling pretty incredulous that we made it through another night.

Cravings: Fresh fruit, especially pineapple.

What I Miss: Toned arms. They are quite smooshy now.

Best Moment This Week: A few things! Working with the doula to prepare for labor. I even had my first ever (and second) trip to an acupuncturist to try to encourage the labor. I also had an awesome breakfast on Friday with Rachel and Katie!

Also, Mother's Day on Sunday. I received so many calls and texts wishing me a Happy Mothers Day (which is a pretty awesome feeling). I'd previously said that if I didn't have a baby in my arms on Sunday that I'd cry, and I honestly didn't even think that this was an option. But it did happen, and I did cry, but you know what? I got over it. Because I still got to labor through the day and know that I am taking care of her. And Ian, who surprised me with tulips, cupcakes, and a sweet card, assured me that whatever day she arrives will be my Mothers Day.

Looking Forward To: (You know.)

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